Prev: Re: Mecha miniatures Next: Re: [FT] seeking Salvo Missile advice

Re: [FT] seeking Salvo Missile advice

From: Oerjan Ohlson <oerjan.ohlson@t...>
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2003 16:15:32 +0100
Subject: Re: [FT] seeking Salvo Missile advice

A long time ago (before the holidays began), Jared Hilal wrote:

> >This is the real problem with "vector-moving" missiles. They're not
> >that much of a problem in deep-space battles, because it usually
> >so long to build up the attack vector that a mobile would-be target
> >time to move away from the danger area (especially in Cinematic); in
> >one-off deep-space battles this translates into a rather extreme
> >sensitivity to the exact set-up conditions used.
> >
> >Most military SF backgrounds I've seen either ignore the
> >hypervelocity missile strike tactic completely or ban it by referring
> >to politics - eg., in the Honor Harrington books you normally don't
> >hypervelocity strikes against orbital installations because the
> >Solarian League will annihilate you in case you hit the planet by
> >accident... even so it pops up in at least two of the HH books (Flag
> >Exile and... Ashes of Victory IIRC).
>Assuming that we have an eye to playing campaign style deep-space
>battles (i.e. planets & infrastructure change hands but are not subject
>to attack), my questions still stand:

Which still begs the counter-question *why* the infractructure can't be 
attacked :-/

>Given the description of the mechanics of movement and target
>acquisition that I gave and that the cost and mass are to remain the
>same as FB1 (launcher 3 mass, salvo 2 mass, 3 NPV per mass each);
>How much should each EF be worth?
>9, 10 or 12?  More? (15, etc)
>How many missiles should be in the (mass 2, 6 NPV) salvo?
>3, 4 ,5, 6 or more?

Very difficult to answer any of these without playtesting. The key to
missile balance is the missiles' probability of getting within their own

attack range of the target (in your case 3 mu or less), and playtesting
the only way to get a feeling for how this has changed; once that is
it'll be relatively easy to adjust the number of missiles (and/or the 
PD/missile interactions) in each salvo to bring the missiles back to
FB1 power.

Part of my difficulties is that I'm not entirely sure of exactly how you

calculate your missile speeds or determine their initial
Eg., does the "Missiles launched into the aft arc have V(i) = 3 - V(s)" 
mean that the missile flies backwards relative to its own facing (ie.,
it gets a velocity in the same direction as the launching ship, only a
slower), or that it gets a V(s) - 3 speed in the *opposite* direction to

the ship's course?

Similarly, what course does the missiles start on? If it is launched
the (F) arc, does it have to copy the ship's course exactly (like the MT

missiles do) or can it choose any initial course which falls within the
arc? If it is launched against a target which is in the FP arc at the
of launch (ie., prior to movement) but which ends its movement where the

launching ship's FS are was at the time of launch, does the missile
moving into the FP arc and have to spend most of its thrust rating doing
U-turn? Ships always have to move at one of the 12 clock facings; would
be OK for a missile to *not* move along the clock facings (even if all
course changes are in 30-degree increments)?

>Plus a new question:
>What are the primary set-up factors influencing the "extreme
>sensetivity" that you mention?

The speeds, courses and relative starting positions of the opposing
are all about equally important. (For deep-space engagements, that's
much all the set-up factors there is... :-/ )

If the missile-user starts at a high enough speed (ie., high enough that

the missiles will reach clean across the table in a single turn) and on
course directly towards the enemy, and said enemy starts at a *low*
speed to be unable to dodge the missiles, then the missile-user can wipe

the enemy out without suffering a single shot in return. This is of
essentially the same situation as vector missiles vs. infrastructure; 
exactly how slow "slow enough" is depends on how manoeuvrable the
missiles are.

In other situations, particularly when the missile-users are being
by the enemy, vector-moving missiles risk being unable to hit anything
all due to being unable to brake quickly enough to catch their targets.

Of course both sides would try to do their best to create a favourable 
set-up during their pre-battle manoeuvres. Specifically, if the
force knew that the missile-users were coming they would try to build up

enough speeds to have a decent chance of dodging any missiles launched



"Life is like a sewer.
  What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it."

Prev: Re: Mecha miniatures Next: Re: [FT] seeking Salvo Missile advice